This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Manchester Evening News, both Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo could be available for transfer if Manchester United can complete a deal to sign Harry Maguire.
Reports have claimed that United have agreed a world-record fee for a defender for Harry Maguire, as they look to complete a deal for the 26-year-old before the end of the transfer window next week.
After Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted last month that the squad would need to be trimmed down in the face of new arrivals, The Manchester Evening News claim that both Smalling and Rojo could be the main casualties of Maguire’s potential arrival.
As is the case with big-money arrivals, they hardly get signed to sit on the bench. Maguire’s arrival at Old Trafford is more than likely to see him nail down one of the starting centre-back slots, leaving the rest of the club’s defenders to fight tooth and nail to partner him.
But in Smalling and Rojo’s case, it appears to be too little, too late for them to try and stake a claim to be Maguire’s partner in crime at the back.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to implement a high-tempo game and start play from the back, Smalling is hardly the type of defender to fit that criteria. Indeed, speaking after United’s Europa League triumph against Ajax back in 2017, Mourinho revealed that he joked with Smalling before the game about his lack of technical ability.
Rojo on the other hand has had his United career decimated by injuries, and has struggled to put together a run of games for the club.
Getting rid of the defensive duo would free up the likes of promising defender Axel Tuanzebe to really step up and feel like he has a genuine opportunity to claim a starting spot for the club, or at least play in cup competitions.
After their struggles in recent seasons, it’s the perfect time for the Red Devils to get rid of the ‘deadwood’ and start afresh in the Maguire era.